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The Real Deal: Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test? [2023 Update]

Will CBD Cause a Positive Drug Test?

Ever wondered if using CBD products could result in a failed drug test? If you're curious about the interaction between CBD and drug tests, then this article is a must-read for you.

We'll delve into the nitty-gritty details, discuss different types of CBD, and answer some burning questions on how CBD may or may not affect your test results.

 

Table of Contents

  1. What’s the Difference Between CBD, THC, Marijuana, and Hemp?
  2. Full-Spectrum CBD, Broad-Spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate: Why Knowing the Different Types of CBD Matter
  3. Understanding Drug Tests: The Basics
  4. How Do Workplace Drug Tests Work?
  5. Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test Results? 
  6. How Much THC Could Result in a Positive Test Result?
  7. Is It All About Urine Drug Testing?
  8. What Are the Consequences if I Fail a Drug Test?
  9. CBD Products That Are Less Likely to Contain THC
  10. How to Safely Use CBD If You're Subjected to Drug Testing
  11. Key Takeaways
  12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

     

    What’s the Difference Between CBD, THC, Marijuana, and Hemp?

    CBD, THC, marijuana, and hemp—these terms often get thrown around interchangeably, but they are actually quite distinct. Knowing the difference is not just educational; it's also crucial for anyone using these substances, especially if you're dealing with workplace drug tests or curious about the legal landscape. Here's a breakdown of these terms to help you make informed decisions.

    CBD vs. THC: The Cannabinoids

    Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are compounds found in the cannabis plant, and they're both classified as cannabinoids. However, their effects on the human body are different:

    • CBD: It is primarily known for its non-psychoactive effects. That means it doesn't give you a 'high.' People often use CBD for its purported wellness benefits, such as relief from stress and discomfort.

    • THC: On the other hand, is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It's what's responsible for the 'high' you get from using cannabis products that contain THC.

    Marijuana vs. Hemp: The Plant Types

    Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes multiple species, the most notable being marijuana and hemp.

    • Marijuana: Contains a higher concentration of THC. Therefore, it is often used for its psychoactive effects or for medical conditions that benefit from THC’s properties.

    • Hemp: A species of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, making it much less psychoactive. Hemp is the primary source of CBD products and is also used for industrial purposes like making textiles and biofuels.

    Difference Between CBD, THC, Marijuana, and Hemp

    Related: Does CBD Get You High? 

    Full-Spectrum CBD, Broad-Spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate: Why Knowing the Different Types of CBD Matter

    • Full-Spectrum CBD: Contains all the natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC.

    • Broad-Spectrum CBD: Like Full Spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all the beneficial cannabinoids, but the THC is removed.

    • CBD Isolate: It's pure CBD isolate, with all other compounds removed. This CBD product doesn’t contain THC.

    Full-Spectrum CBD, Broad-Spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate

    Legal Aspects: What's Allowed Where?

    • CBD: CBD products made from hemp are generally legal in the U.S. However, CBD derived from marijuana is subject to state-specific cannabis laws.

    • THC and Marijuana: Legal status varies by state and can be conditional based on medical needs or recreational use.

    Understanding Drug Tests: The Basics

    Drug tests are more than just a routine procedure; they serve as an essential tool for employers, legal authorities, and medical professionals to gauge substance use and its potential impact on an individual's performance or health. Drug tests can screen for a range of substances, from illegal narcotics to prescription medications, and yes, cannabinoids like THC. But what about CBD?

    What Are Drug Tests Looking For?

    First off, it's important to understand that standard drug tests are primarily designed to identify illicit or controlled substances. They typically screen for opioids, amphetamines, barbiturates, and cannabinoids like THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and hemp that creates the sensation of being "high." That said, conventional drug tests usually aren't formulated to detect CBD, the non-psychoactive.

    Sensitivity and Specificity

    Two critical factors in drug tests are their sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity refers to the test's ability to correctly identify those who have used a specific drug. Specificity refers to the test's ability to correctly identify those who have not. High sensitivity and specificity are ideal, but no test is perfect. This is crucial when it comes to drug testing involving cannabinoids, as some tests might produce a positive result due to cross-reactivity with other substances.

    Why CBD Usually Doesn’t Show Up

    When it comes to CBD and drug tests, most standard tests are not designed to catch CBD use specifically. Their primary target is THC and its metabolites. However, be cautious, as some CBD products may contain enough THC to produce a positive result.

    Understanding Drug Tests

    How Do Workplace Drug Tests Work?

    Navigating the world of employment often means undergoing various evaluations, one of which might be a drug test. With the rising popularity of CBD and cannabis products, many folks are left wondering how these substances interact with employer-issued drug tests. So, let’s break it down!

    What Substances Are Normally Tested For?

    In a typical workplace drug test, the aim is usually to detect illegal or controlled substances. The standard screening panel, often referred to as a "5-panel test," looks for opioids, amphetamines, PCP, cocaine, and yes, cannabinoids like THC. Remember, THC is the psychoactive component found in marijuana and in small amounts in some hemp-derived products.

    Testing Methods 

    Drug tests come in various forms. Here are the most common types you might encounter:

    • Urine Drug Testing: This is by far the most frequent method. It’s relatively inexpensive and can detect use over an extended period.
    • Saliva Tests: These are quick and non-intrusive but usually only identify very recent use.
    • Blood Tests: These are rare in the workplace due to their invasive nature and higher cost.
    • Hair Tests: These can provide a long-term record of drug use but are also less commonly used due to cost and the potential for false positives.

    The Role of CBD

    If you're using CBD oil, especially products with a level of THC that is 0.3% or less (as is commonly found in hemp-derived CBD), you may wonder how that will affect your result. 

    Generally, standard drug tests are not designed to catch CBD specifically. Instead, they are looking for the psychoactive component, THC. However, not all CBD products are created equal, and some might contain enough THC to make you test positive Always scrutinize product labels and laboratory tests to know what you're consuming.

    Related: Frequently Asked Questions about CBD

    When Are Tests Administered?

    Workplace drug tests can be unpredictable. They might occur:

    • Pre-employment
    • Randomly
    • After an accident or incident
    • As a part of a regular screening program

    Legal Aspects and Employee Rights

    While laws surrounding workplace drug testing vary by jurisdiction and specific job function, it's essential to be aware of your rights. In some places, medical marijuana use is protected, but recreational use might not be. And unfortunately, even in states where CBD oil and cannabis are legal, employers can still enforce a drug-free workplace.

    The Consequences of a Failed Drug Test

    Failing could lead to a range of consequences, from job loss to legal repercussions. Each company has its own set of policies, but generally, a positive drug test can make life quite complicated.

    False Positives and How to Avoid Them

    False positives are a concern in drug screening, especially when cannabinoids like CBD are involved. Cross-reactivity with other substances can sometimes yield a positive test even if you haven't consumed THC. Always check if your CBD products come with lab tests, so you’re aware of any trace amounts of THC that might lead to a positive drug test.

    Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test Results? 

    The simple answer? It's complicated. Full-spectrum CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, but these are typically below the 0.3% limit set by federal law. However, even these trace amounts could theoretically cause you to fail a drug test. Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate products are less likely to result in a positive drug test, but there are no guarantees.

    Our advice would be that you confirm with your employer if your CBD usage could be an issue, the increasing acceptance and popularity of CBD could mean that they already have exclusions in place.

    How Much THC Could Result in a Positive Test Result?

    It's hard to pinpoint an exact amount of THC that will result in a positive drug test. Factors like your body mass, metabolism, and the sensitivity of the test can all play a role. But remember, even products labeled as “zero THC” may contain trace amounts that could accumulate over time.

    Related: The Rise of Delta-8 THC: What You Need to Know 

    Is It All About Urine Drug Testing?

    While urine tests are the most commonly used method for drug screening, some employers or legal authorities might use other types of tests, like blood or saliva tests. These tests can detect different metabolites and may have different sensitivity levels for THC.

    What Are the Consequences if I Fail a Drug Test?

    The stakes can be high. A failed drug test could result in job loss or other severe career consequences, particularly in industries that are regulated for drug and alcohol use. It's critical to be informed and careful if you're using any CBD products and are subject to drug testing.

    confirm with your employer if your CBD usage could be an issue

    CBD Products That Are Less Likely to Contain THC

    If you're worried about failing a drug test, consider using CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD products. These are less likely to contain THC and, therefore, less likely to lead to a positive drug test result. Always read the product descriptions and lab tests to be certain.

    How to Safely Use CBD If You're Subjected to Drug Testing

    1. Opt for CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD products.
    2. Consult lab test results to confirm THC content.
    3. Speak with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
    4. Stay informed about the drug testing policies in your workplace or jurisdiction.

    Key Takeaways

    • Drug tests typically don’t screen for CBD but for THC.
    • Types of CBD vary in THC content: Full-spectrum has trace amounts, broad-spectrum is less likely to have it, and isolate is pure CBD.
    • A failed drug test can have significant consequences, especially in certain industries.
    • Always check the THC content in your CBD products, especially if you are subject to drug testing as CBD products might contain THC.

    Note: This article draws upon various scientific papers and studies for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

     

    1. What does the Food and Drug Administration say about CBD?

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently doesn't regulate many CBD products available in the market. However, it has approved a few CBD medications for specific medical conditions. Always consult with healthcare professionals for advice tailored to your individual needs.

    2. Is it safe to take CBD before a drug test?

    Generally, CBD should not show up on a drug test designed to look for THC. However, certain CBD products might contain trace amounts of THC, and using them could result in a positive THC test.

    3. How can I pass a drug test if I've been using CBD?

    If you need to pass a drug test, opt for CBD products that don't contain THC. These would be things like CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. Make sure to look at third-party lab results to confirm the product's THC content.

    4. Are all CBD products the same?

    No, many CBD products differ in terms of their THC content. While hemp-derived CBD products are less likely to contain significant amounts of THC, marijuana-derived CBD products can contain higher levels.

    5. Should I consult the Poison and Drug Information Center for CBD queries?

    If you have specific medical concerns about CBD, it would be best to consult healthcare providers. Organizations like the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center can also provide helpful advice.

    6. Are there specialized drug tests for cannabis?

    Yes, drug tests for cannabis generally look for THC or its metabolites, rather than CBD. However, some specialized tests might be able to detect a broader range of cannabinoids.

    7. What are the chances of getting a positive THC test after using CBD?

    The chances largely depend on the CBD product you are using. Full-spectrum CBD oil, for example, may contain trace amounts of THC which might lead to a positive THC test.

    9. What's the current status of the CBD industry?

    The CBD industry is rapidly growing, with a wide range of available CBD products in the market, from oils and edibles to topicals and vapes.

    10. What should I look for when purchasing CBD products?

    Always look at the CBD product's third-party lab results to ensure it doesn't contain THC if you're concerned about drug tests. Also, choose products that are either FDA-approved or comply with food and drug administration guidelines for unregulated CBD.

    11. Will I still test positive for marijuana if I only use CBD?

    You should not still test positive for marijuana if you're using pure CBD products derived from hemp. However, the case of CBD changes if the product contains THC, which could result in a failed drug screen.

    12. Are there any negative drug interactions with CBD?

    While CBD is generally considered safe, it may interact with certain medications. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.

    13. Is information on CBD effects reliable?

    The effects of CBD are still under research, and it's crucial to rely on trusted sources for information on CBD, including scientific studies and healthcare providers.

    14. Can I use CBD in states where it is not legal?

    No, you should only use and purchase CBD in states where CBD is legal. Laws can vary widely, so make sure you're aware of the local regulations.

    15. Why do some CBD products contain THC?

    Certain CBD products contain THC due to the type of cannabis plant they're derived from. For instance, full-spectrum CBD oil will have a wider range of cannabinoids, including THC. Always check third-party lab results to understand what you're getting.

    Sources:

    1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms
    2. https://www.vox.com/2014/9/25/6842187/drug-schedule-list-marijuana
    3. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xwjmpj/cbd-drug-test
    4. https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/herbs-botanicals/hemp-and-cbd-after-2018-farm-bill

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